The New Frugality
How to Consume Less, Save More, and Live Better
By Chris Farrell
(Bloomsbury Press, Hardcover, 9781596916609, 240pp.)
Publication Date: December 22, 2009
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From the personal finance correspondent for public radio’s Marketplace Money, a new plan for a new economic reality—the philosophy and practice of living frugally.As a once-in-a-lifetime downturn deepens, our go-go economy has become an uh-oh economy. But as trusted finance reporter Chris Farrell explains, there’s a silver lining to this cloud: It is accelerating a trend already under way in America toward what he calls the New Frugality—a fresh way of thinking about how, what, and why we consume. In today’s economy, a “sustainable” lifestyle isn’t just one that’s good for the planet—it’s one that is based around core values and one that sustains your bank balance as well. In this friendly, approachable book, Farrell explains both the theory and the practice of living frugally. Frugality, he reminds us, does not mean old-fashioned penny-pinching. It means spending your money on quality rather than quantity—buying the best you can afford but the least you need. Drawing on his expertise as a financial reporter and his years of conversations with his public radio listeners, he provides down-to-earth, practical advice for every aspect of your financial life, including: • how to always maintain a “margin of safety” in your spending • the frugal home: renting vs. owning • the two best ways to save for college • wise debt vs. foolish debt • why giving your money away can be “newly frugal” The New Frugality amounts to a paradigm shift in the way we spend and save. The good news is, a frugal lifestyle is one of less waste, lower environmental impact, greater peace of mind, and, over the long run, deeper satisfaction.
Chris Farrell is a contributing economics editor for Business Week and the resident personal finance expert and economics editor for public radio’s Marketplace Money. He lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.
“America's mad romance with consumer debt is finally on the decline, and Farrell, economics editor for public radio's "Marketplace Money", guides readers to a healthier relationship with their finances… With an emphasis on changing the way we live to make the most of what we have and promoting moderation, Farrell provides a solid and encouraging high-level overview of individual financial health.”—Publishers Weekly
“A how-to for people who say the Great Recession has made them want to change.”—Star Tribune
“[Farrell is] eager to restore fiscal conservatism to its proper, vaunted role. Being thrifty has become a badge of honor…Farrell is so enthusiastic in his mission to promote a more sensible lifestyle that he makes the reader want to burn a credit card.”—Time
“This book offers age-old advice on budgeting, saving, investing, renting vs. buying a home, and other financial basics. Farrell's advice comes wrapped in a message about financially and ecologically sustainable living that is particularly welcome in tough times.”—SmartMoney
“Here’s the good news: Being frugal is not synonymous with being cheap. Buy the good bike, the low-energy-use appliance; they’re better made and will last longer. Just don’t be reckless, with your life or your habitat. The New Frugality includes tips on college savings plans, shared home equity, home insurance, investing, borrowing and retirement.”—Los Angeles Times
“[The New Frugality] is full of information about how to manage money wisely…The book has a lot to like, including the storytelling style and such tips on saving and sustainability as to share books with friends.”—Washington Post
“In Farrell's new book The New Frugality, he presents a number of ways for moving forward in our slumpy economy without totally going broke. Not only does Farrell point out the ways in which we can be frugal, he discusses the ways in which global climate change affects us and concludes that frugality and "going green" can and should go hand in hand. Purchasing things that are affordable AND sustainable, Farrell argues, is the key.”—SFist
“Chris Farrell helps define the new frugality—and how it can be enriching.”—Minnesota Monthly
“A guide to creating a healthier relationship with your money…The author provides concrete advice on dealing with risk and debt, putting savings aside for investing, college, retirement, charitable giving—and realizing if and when you have enough.”—Time.com
“[The New Frugality] will help you spend less and save more…This book is filled with anecdotes, historical insights, resources and common sense, all of which are designed to teach you how to wisely spend your money while saving for the future.”—The Arizona Republic
“Chris Farrell provides practical guidance about how to manage personal finances. In a nutshell, which is a great disservice to the author, Farrell -- who hosts a radio show on NPR-- advocates implementing a margin of safety in investing and a return to the frugality that many of us grew up with…the world would be a better place if more people followed his common sense advice.” – Star Ledger